Notes to self

I am building a Ruby on Rails SaaS template

Here’s 3 reasons why I am building a brand new SaaS template for Rails.

I am building a new SaaS template for Rails called Business Class. Since there are several similar good options on the market today you might wonder why I am even doing it.

Payments and taxes

The core of a SaaS template are payments. And if you are like me, you want to collect payments for your new SaaS business from around the world. Payment providers such as Stripe will help you do just that but there’s a catch. You might need to collect and pay taxes to several different countries.

The mental barrier for me is huge. When I was a teenager I started many projects, but I haven’t put any Buy buttons on the internet. Not that I didn’t want to, no. I just imagined all the obligations I would have or giving everything I earned to tax consultants. In a way this should not stop you, but it stopped me.

It wasn’t until I learned about Gumroad I pulled the trigger to work on my first paid product Deployment from Scratch. 962 people bought the book to date yet it was almost never created. This was all possible thanks to Gumroad acting as an Merchant of Record for EU taxes. And it’s honestly just great.

So the first reason I embarked on this journey is to build my first SaaS business. And to do that I am focusing on the Paddle provider which acts as your Merchant of Record. Something like a Gumroad, but for subscription businesses.


The next reason is a philosophical one. As engineers we all have our own takes on building software. Me included. And so I want to build something close to my programmer’s heart. I believe there can be many templates on the market because if you are on a lookout for one, there’s a whole list of things to consider.

The first philosophical goal is to stay close to Ruby on Rails idioms and defaults. While it might not be possible or desired 100% of the time, I want my projects to be close to the simplicity of 37signals products. I want to build with Hotwire, Active Storage, or Minitest. I learned to love fixtures or go with the flow of CurrentAttributes.

The second goal is to build a template and not a framework. My new products should be standard Rails applications without any private or special libraries or engines. Nobody will ever know the applications started as Business Class. That’s just the template name and nothing else. Just open the files, edit, push, and done!

What’s next

Right now I am wrapping up the first release of the template. I want to get it out as soon as possible to get more feedback that will make it even better in the future. If you are interested, sign up for updates.

by Josef Strzibny